Clyde-based Royal Marine unit celebrates official tartan
A Royal Marine unit has celebrated the launch of its official tartan, symbolising its links to Scotland.
The tartan for 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group has been designed by Edinburgh-based Kinloch Anderson.
The 550-strong unit of green berets are based at HM Naval Base Clyde, charged with protecting the country’s nuclear deterrent and conducting counter-piracy and counter-narcotics operations around the world.
The 43 Commando features the distinctive scarlet and gold stripes replicating the unique Unit lanyard, while the dominant shades of green represent the famous Green Beret worn by Service personnel who have successfully completed Commando training and the green of the Marine’s “Lovats” service uniform.
Colonel Jock Fraser MBE, Commanding Officer of 43 Commando, visited Kinloch Anderson’s head office for the launch on Wednesday.
He said: “It is fitting that we are launching the tartan at this time with two significant dates for the Unit on the horizon.
“Firstly, the Unit’s memorable date of April 2 1945, where 43 Commando were victorious at Lake Comacchio and where Corporal Thomas Peck Hunter VC was posthumously awarded of the Victoria Cross.
“Secondly, the upcoming commemoration of the Battle of Arras in 1917 where the Unit’s predecessor, the Second Battalion, Royal Marine Light Infantry, fought with such gallantry and at tremendous cost as part of the Royal Navy Division.
“The 43 Commando tartan symbolises the Unit’s links to Scotland and its design reflects the illustrious history and achievements of those who serve now and in the past.”
The 43 Commando tartan has been registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans.
John Kinloch Anderson, chief executive of the company, said: “Kinloch Anderson have a proud history of producing kilts and tartan for members of the Royal Family and the armed forces and we are very pleased to begin what we hope will be a long-standing relationship with 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines.”
The unit is part of 3 Commando Brigade, the UK’s high readiness expeditionary amphibious force.
In June last year Royal Marine Commandos from the Unit were involved in the seizure of illegal drugs with an estimated value of £5.6 million.
A Royal Marine Boarding Team for 43 Commando boarded a suspicious fishing dhow off the southern coast of Oman on June 7 and sized 51 bales of high grade hashish.
Meanwhile, in November last year, a Royal Marine sniper from the Clyde-based team brought a dramatic six-hour maritime chase to an end, when he took out the engine of a drug smuggler’s boat in the Caribbean.
Operating from the back of a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter, the 43 Commando marksman fired the shot, allowing the US Coast Guard to board the suspect boat and seize more than £40 million worth of cocaine.
Royal Marine teams from 43 Commando are currently deployed on counter-piracy and counter-narcotics operations in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
There is also a detachment of cold weather warfare training Royal Marines from the Unit deployed on the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship.